nabim’s response to the threat of renewed panic buying made national headlines last month.The introduction of localised lockdown restrictions, coupled with the return of Great British Bake-Off and the prospect of price increases due to a disappointing wheat harvest this year, had been blamed for reports of shoppers emptying supermarket shelves of household bags of flour.
Based on feedback from our UK millers, however, nabim was able to issue a statement reassuring the public that there will be no shortage of flour this autumn.
In an article published in the Sunday Times, director-general Alex Waugh stressed that mills have been running 24-hour production operations since lockdown was first imposed in March and that flour supplies were not under threat.
“We would like to reassure customers that there is no shortage of flour in the UK,” he said. “We know that people enjoy baking during the Bake-Off season and lockdown, and UK flour mills and packing lines are increasing output to meet this added demand.” Alex added: “Panic buying causes snags and disruption in the supply chain, so we urge consumers to help out by buying flour only as they need it.”
Earlier this year shortages of household flour in shops and supermarkets was attributed to the demand for 1.5kg bags, rather than a lack of flour, as the public embraced home-baking.
But around the country, mills have reported satisfactory wheat stocks, flour stocks, packaging and labour.
Richard Hawes, of G R Wright, told us: “Our packing capacity remains the same for retail lines. During the lockdown we saw retail sales at least double which certainly stretched our production capacity, and impacted to an increasing extent as the weeks went by on the bag manufacturers ability to supply us with sufficient bags to meet demand."